AA and Jasons travel media reps have started their campaign and are busy setting up appointments with moteliers to discuss this year's advertising offer.
After casting a quick eye over the multi-level combo deals, it would appear nothing earth-shatteringly-different is on offer from previous years. Both travel media companies seem to have are adopted a steady-as-she-goes approach and have been unwilling to offer anything overly complicated that may scare the horses.
AA and Jasons (affectionately known in the travel industry as "The Ugly Sisters") have a privileged position amongst the motel fraternity. Unlike most businesses, their travel media reps are generally invited into the motelier's inner-sanctum to conduct business. As they sit around a motelier's dining table enjoying a granulated instant coffee, they are able to take-in the moteliers highly-tuned workspace that features various piles of assorted stacked paper, boxes of guest amenities and dishes from the morning's motel breakfast fry-up.
As the mandatory motel pet enthusiastically humps their leg, the travel media rep has the opportunity to discuss the motelier's future marketing plans and aspirations for next season...
Marketing a motel isn't what it used to be.
Times have changed and there now appears to be endless options available that can quickly carve-up a motel's meager marketing budget:
There's that pesky motel website that's been languishing unloved for several years. Does it need some love? Should it be redesigned, optimised, mobilised and some form of SEO be engaged. What about updating that old-school booking engine? What about considering a pay-per-click campaign, email
marketing, online media and sponsorships, mobile marketing? Should you join or make better use of a motel marketing chain? How can OTAs be tamed and optimised? Does anyone still advertise with Yellow pages? Should you fill-up some of those dusty racks at the local iSite with some new rack cards? And what about adding some content to those
social media platforms that have been created, but left abandoned?
For most moteliers, does this all seem too hard and overwhelming?
Maybe moteliers should simply do what we've always done and write out a (large) cheque so that we can continue to outsource
the majority of our marketing to the Ugly Sisters?
What ever moteliers decide to do, I hope they are are polite to those nice travel media reps - they're going to have a tough few months ahead.